Summary of Strategic Plan Comments received July 2006
1) One person indicated that building in the County should stop.
2) One person mentions that many properties are not suitable for “clustering/phasing.” She states that these two rural area land use policies will adversely affect people’s retirement planning, potential income and control of their properties and could cause land owners to develop and sell their properties as soon as possible.
3) One person noted that she did not see anything that will address the health and wellness of County citizens. She shares information regarding the wellness business she works for and states she has taken the initiative to contact the County’s Human Resources Department about the benefits of this work.
4) One person states that he/she likes the Strategic Plan and thanks the staff and Board for their hard work. This person’s priorities in rank order are 1) affordable housing, 2) support for agricultural businesses, 3) workforce development (throughout a person’s lifespan) 4) conservation easements, 5) transportation – with a focus on public transit, not just road building, and 6) protecting rural areas. This person states that the plan only briefly mentions that our community is aging and states that more information on this topic would help to keep it at the forefront of community discussion in relation to affordable housing, public transit, workforce development, life-long learning and promoting civic engagement.
5) One person states surprise that the term “pedestrian-friendly” figures so prominently in the Vision Statement and suggests that pedestrian-friendliness is really only one means to the ultimate goal of high quality of life. This person believes that the County staff over emphasizes the “new urbanism” model at the expense of consumer choice and affordability. This person thanks the County for seeking feedback.
6) One person states that “pedestrian-friendly” is a planning term that is over-used.
7) One person states that this draft destabilizes the real estate market, erodes private property owner’s rights, and is an excuse to create taxes for stormwater management, review, and dissolve land use taxation. This person states that the Plan, while prepared with good intentions, micromanages the County and will cause problems and could negatively affect farmers.
8) One person suggests that the County should include the preservation and integration of historic resources into the community as an explicit part of the Strategic Plan. This person states that to not do anything to identify and preserve these historic assets is short sighted. This Albemarle County resident advocates for the systematic identification, documentation, and evaluation of historic resources before development takes place.
9) One person states support for Albemarle’s general goal of managing growth and development, but shared concerns regarding the “phasing of subdivision rights.” This person states that real estate market is now at the beginning of a long- term down cycle and this policy would not be necessary, as the market has already begun to correct itself. This person identifies the following four reasons the proposed phasing regulation would have negative effects. It would 1) negatively affect farm preservation by depreciating land prices that ultimately support agricultural activity in the area; 2) create a rush to subdivide; 3) create depreciation of property values; and 4) result in a “taking” of property.
10) After obtaining further clarity and information about the Strategic Plan, the planning cycle, and specific goals and objectives, one person stated that while all of the Strategic Plan’s goals may be wonderful ones, he, as a taxpayer, was concerned with how all of these efforts can all be funded.
11) One person commented that the Plan was outstanding.
12) One person commented that the Plan was good.
13) One person stated that the Plan continues Albemarle County government’s path of growth in size and cost. This person states that there was no mention of encouraging independent schools and home schooling, nor the encouragement of charitable and voluntary organizations to tackle some of these issues. Also, this person noted that there was no discussion of ways to curtail or eliminate debt, build toll roads, or privately fund roads. This person questions why citizens who do not use certain proposed services and program should pay for those who do.
14) One person made the following comments for the goals as listed in order of importance from his point of view. Regarding 1) Protect the County’s natural resources, the comment is that unabated growth destroys natural resources. This person stated that agriculture, farming, tourism and recreation should be strong revenue resources for the County. This person was pleased to see the conservation easement goal of 30,000 acres and would like the County to shoot for more. Regarding 2) Effectively manage growth and development, this person is concerned about how much growth the County can sustain or support and prefers that the County would abide by a controlled growth policy. Regarding 3) Develop policies and infrastructure improvements to address growth, this person praises the County’s work on Places 29. Further, this person states that developers, staff, commissioners and supervisors should abide by the rules as set forth regarding project development. Regarding 4) Funding future needs, this person emphasizes that he believes the financial health of Albemarle County is significantly dependent on the protection of natural resources and that growth must be controlled.
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